Residentie Orkest (also known in English as The Hague Philharmonic) is a Dutch orchestra based in The Hague. Its primary venue is the Dr. Anton Philipszaal.
Henri Viotta founded the orchestra in 1904. Its early home was the Gebouw voor Kunsten en Wetenschappen. The orchestra received its first acclaim during the 1911 Richard Strauss Festival, in which the composer himself conducted some of his works. The orchestra soon attracted other composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Max Reger, Maurice Ravel, and Paul Hindemith.
After the Second World War, Willem van Otterloo became chief conductor of the Residentie Orkest from 1949 to 1973. He built up the orchestra's exceptional reputation by combining its excellent playing with adventurous programming. After Van Otterloo, the chief conductors were (in order) Jean Martinon, Ferdinand Leitner, Hans Vonk, Evgenii Svetlanov and Jaap van Zweden.
In September 2005, Neeme Järvi became the Residentie Orkest's chief conductor.
The Residentie Orkest is proving that even in the 21st century, symphonic music still has the power and beauty to move a large audience. Its reputation as one of the finest orchestras in Europe makes it an appropriate figurehead for The Hague as a cosmopolitan city of justice, peace and culture. The orchestra performs in concert series ‘at home' in the Dr. Anton Philipszaal, and in other major concert halls in the Netherlands and abroad. The orchestra also gives regular concerts elsewhere in The Hague, such as the New Year's concert and open-air concerts in the Zuiderpark. Annual highlights include a concert on a floating stage during The Hague's Festival Classique, and accompanying productions by De Nederlandse Opera. In 2008 the Residentie Orkest received great critical acclaim for Messiaen's rarely performed opera ‘Saint François d'Assise'. In September 2009 the Residentie Orkest received enthusiastic response during the China-tour, where concerts were given in Xiamen, Shanghai and Beijing.
The Residentie Orkest is strongly committed to classical music education. As its active contribution to increasing the public's knowledge of classical music, it has developed an educational programme for all ages. Concertgoers have the opportunity to attend introductory talks and listening courses. Young music fans can take special workshops as part of the Sunday matinees.
The Orchestra also provides master classes and orchestra weekends for amateur musicians in which the musicians can have lseeons from, or play along with, professional musicians from the Orchstra.
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